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Scavenger hunt encourages exploring Saanich nature, while staying on trails

PKOLS-Mount Douglas Conservancy launches a scavenger hunt
A spring scavenger hunt on the mountain doesn’t even take visitors to PKOLS off the trails. (PKOLS-Mount Douglas Conservancy/Facebook)

As blooms start to show at PKOLS, a group that aims to protect the ecology of the park launched a scavenger hunt anyone can enjoy.

It’s been pre-tested on groups of kids, says Michelle Watt, vice president of PKOLS-Mount Douglas Conservancy, who developed the bingo card-like hunt. It encourages folks to find things ranging from “something that makes noise” to “moving water.”

A new scavenger hunt encourages learning about PKOLS while learning and enjoying nature from the trails. (PKOLS-Mount Douglas Conservancy/Facebook)

“The idea was to get people of all ages more acquainted with the natural features of PKOLS/Mount Douglas and develop a deep appreciation and understanding of the ecosystem and species that make this park so special,” said Watt, also a restoration/ecology student.

“All these things can be found everywhere and you don’t have to stray off the beaten path.”

It also serves as a lesson in enjoying nature while keeping ecological degradation or damage to a minimum, Watt said, adding it’s a particular issue in popular PKOLS.

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“Everything on there is designed with the intent of helping people develop an understanding … an excitement for stewarding these ecosystems,” Watt said.

The wildflowers are starting to bloom and “it’s an exciting time of year.” So, as the days get lighter later and the weather starts to improve, it seemed a good time to share the scavenger hunt publicly.

March 19 marks the first day of spring, coincidentally public schools in Greater Victoria go on break that week, returning to class after Easter on April 3.

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The scavenger hunt is already wildly popular with the kids they’ve tested it on. Young people are enjoying the outdoors, learning names of plants and asking questions, which is key, Watt said.

“It’s fun for me to put them together and it’s also fun to see people respond to them and really enjoy.”

She also sees potential for future ecosystem- or season-themed hunts, as the park ranges from rocky outcrops at the mountain summit to eelgrass at the beach with forest between.

Visit and find the scavenger hunt under educational materials or find it on Facebook.

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Christine van Reeuwyk

About the Author: Christine van Reeuwyk

Longtime journalist with the Greater Victoria news team.
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